Studio updates

I’m taking a break from posting another art lesson (don’t worry, I have lots in the pipeline) to update you all on the goings-on with Deep Space Sparkle…

  • I’m not going to lie, DSS has been keeping me very busy. I’m in the second week of Teaching Art 101 and I’m thoroughly it.  Although none of the lessons are live, the forum and our Flickr page keeps everyone connected. There are students from all over the world, which is absolutely amazing when you think that DSS has brought us all together. It’s been inspiring reading their bio’s and seeing their “homework” on our Flickr page. Lots of very creative people out there!
  • I’ve been working on new e-books and although the process has been slow, I hope to unveil “Working with Watercolors” soon. It’s geared for the upper elementary grades and it contains my favorite watercolor lessons that I have never posted on this site before. Last summer, I released Mini Modern Masters with Video and it seems as though many of you love the videos. I’ll be doing more video lessons and offering them with my ebooks.
  • I’m also hoping to restructure the Deep Space Sparkle store. This is a big job and too big for Neil and I so I’m looking to hire a web designer to do the heavy lifting. Exciting and scary at the same time.

Creating my Workspace

Most of my time is spent developing new lessons and then actually teaching these lessons, but every now and then, I’ll find some time to fix up my new office. My process has been slow, but this is what I’ve done:

  • Create a color palette. I kind of felt like a real interior designer as I was thumbing through paint chips trying to find the perfect studio color. Turms out that after lengthy pondering, I really just wanted a clean, crisp color palette. I opted to paint my workspace a light grey, which just happens to be the color of my entire downstairs. Why not? The paint was free.
  • On buying bookcases: Go for quality when you can. I’m a thrift store gal and like to reuse and repurpose when I can. Most of my house was furnished this way, as was my mother’s house and quite possibly her mother’s house. But this time, I wanted a cohesive look and after spending a couple of months perusing our thrift stores, I gave up and drove to 2 hours to IKEA. I initially though I’d buy the BILLY bookcases. They are white, big and cheap. When I got there, I changed my mind. I found some shelves that felt heavier and came in an antique wood. They were more expensive, but this is IKEA afterall, so it was affordable. I even splurged and decide to get the glass front case. I felt so grown up.
  • Re-use when you can: I had an enormous armoire in my son’s room. It was basically an eyesore. My husband and I didn’t have enough muscle to move this beast so I left it in the room while I painted. After painting the room, I just kept going, painting the armoire the same color as the room. You know what? It looked pretty darn good! We pushed the painted armoire to the old closet area and now it holds all my art lessons files and my printer! This thing is now my favorite (well almost) thing in my office.
  • Glass jars make great containers. I have tubs of markers, crayons and colored pencils. I have so many because I keep buying more thinking I don’t own any. Anyone else do this? So what do you do with them so you don’t buy more? Display them, of course.  A few unused jars and containers from my pantry served my markers well. Now I have something colorful to look at when I’m in need of a color jolt.
  • Think beyond standard office equipment. Yesterday, I snuck off to Target between softball games and bought the cool turquoise lamp in the picture. I love that thing!!! My office is starting to feel more like my blog: white with pops of color.
So here’s my question to you: what kind of lessons would you like to delve deeper into? I’m designing a new e-course and although I have the framework set up, I’m looking to you for guidance and inspiration. Share where you need help, what you would like to learn through an e-course and subject ideas. Share your ideas in the comments below.


What do you think?

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  • Jen

    I love your blog and I am often inspired my your lessons but I am totally inspired by your workspace right now. I am wondering if you got the L shaped desk at IKEA? What a peaceful, inspiring room. Thank you for posting.

  • Patty Palmer

    Hi Jen,
    Glad you like the post. I love my workplace right now. And that’s a good thing since I’m spending so much time there!
    The table is two IKEA table tops placed together. And they are different sizes as well; one big and one small.

  • melissa stover

    i love seeing how you organize your studio. i love the white background.

  • monica baker

    Patty! I took your e-course last summer and I’ve been using a lot of the lessons in class this year! They are working wonderfully:) Thank you! I would be sooo excited to take another class from DSS, and I would be really interested in lessons geared toward the upper grades.

    Thank you!!!! And, I love your DSS workspace!

  • Laurie

    I love your lessons, and have used many in my 5th and 6th grade classes. Can you please go deeper into how to teach children to see as an artist sees? I like to break down objects into shapes, and I think that by teaching kids how to draw with confidence, they really grow as artists.

    Thanks for all you do.

  • Stephanie needham

    Dear Patty,
    I visit your site often and have purchased many of your lessons. I would love to know how you juggle the different levels in a week. I teach K-12 an after 21 year still struggle with if it is appropriate to teach a lesson to a variety of ages in a single day just as a survival tool. I recently am inundated with Student learning objectives which means more justification for every part of my lesson. Where does one find the time? Oh and you have this incredible website…Patty help!

    • Patty Palmer

      I’m not sure I can help you as I don’t experience the same problem as you. I only teach a fraction of the time as you do! Right now, I’m teaching 3 Kinder classes, 1 2nd grade class, 2 five’s and 2 sixes. Starting in a couple of weeks, I’ll teach 2nd through 4th grade. My schedule is light and I have lots of time to prep.
      My advice to you is to reach out to other art teachers that teach not only elementary but high school art. I can imagine high school art is quite demanding as students today have high expectations, so I would focus most of your energy on this group. For many, college is steps away and grades and learning is very important.
      For elementary school, keep using my lesson plans as I’ve done the work for you! That’s why I keep doing what I’m doing: I have the time and hope to help art teachers who don’t!
      Good luck!

  • Kathleen Alexander

    Hello Patty,
    My first visit to your sit and I am absolutely loving your style. What a great job you have and great insight to art in general. Love your work Workplace article. Very inspiring as I just rearranged my dining room to have a space for some storage. Dining room=studio for me right now!!

  • Susan Antonelli

    Hey Patty- Love DSS. You are so inspiring! Can’t wait to see what you have planned. I highly recommend hiring Jeni Elliot to do your blog design (if you’re looking.) She is known as “The Blog Maven” and she designed my site for me. She is so easy to work with and is very professional. Check out her site if you’re interested. (I know she also knows how to set up “store” type commerce shops, so she might be what you need.) Best wishes on all of it! 🙂 Susan

  • Ula

    I’m so glad I discovered your blog (thank you BYW Bootcamp!!). It’s sooo inspiring here! I really love everything you do.
    Hugs :))

  • Maui Vix

    Hi Patty,

    I love your blog. I am a teacher and I could really use your great art ideas. Found you on BYW.
    Keep up the good work.

    Maui Vix

  • Leah

    I noticed the “SDSU Mom” sticker on your bookshelf. Are you an SDSU mom? I am a graduate and also worked there for ten years. Small world!

  • Liz

    Hello! I am taking your course right now and loving it! I work in a private school and am asked to do the dreaded – tie in art to the rest of what the children are learning in a given semester. (By that, my principal primarily means the History curriculum.) So I have topics like ‘Middle Ages’ or 1870-1950, or Geography. Sometimes these are easy inspiration-wise, and sometimes I really struggle to find age appropriate projects that fit into the time available which are not just classroom projects but actually teach the grammar, or building blocks, of art in a meaningful way. Anything geared toward upper elementary or even middle school would be awesome!

    Thanks –

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